Irish Distillers Pernod Ricard has scooped a host of top awards at the inaugural Irish Whiskey Awards, securing first place in four of the most prestigious categories, including the highly-coveted top prize for ‘Overall Irish Whiskey of the Year’ awarded to its Redbreast 12 Year-Old Cask Strength.
In addition to being named the overall winner, there was further success for Irish Distillers as they took the honours in three other categories including: ‘Cask Strength Whiskey of the Year’ for Redbreast 12 Year Old Cask Strength; ‘Best Blended Whiskey over €50’ for Midleton Very Rare (2013 edition); and ‘Single Pot Still Whiskey of the Year’ for Redbreast 15 Year Old.
The awards, which were presented by the Celtic Whiskey Club in conjunction with the Celtic Whiskey Shop, took place on Friday 4th October at the Old Jameson Distillery in Dublin. The whiskeys were nominated, tasted and voted for by members of the public, as well as personnel from the Celtic Whiskey Club and the Irish Whiskey Society.
Expressions from Irish Distillers’ comprehensive range of whiskeys were eligible in five tasting categories, and of these, at least one expression in each category was noted for its quality and style. The six runners-up included: Powers 12 Year Old Special Reserve in the ‘Best Blended Whiskey under €50’ category; Jameson Gold Reserve and Jameson 18 Year Old Limited Reserve in the ‘Best Blended Whiskey over €50’ category; Midleton Cask 1044 (Dublin Airport Edition) in the ‘Irish Single Cask of the Year’ category; and Midleton Barry Crockett Legacy and Yellow Spot in the ‘Single Pot Still whiskey of the Year’ category.
Brendan Buckley, Global Innovation and Category Development Director for Irish Distillers Pernod Ricard, commented: “The Irish whiskey category is growing from strength to strength, as the quality of the entrants in these awards clearly demonstrates. In particular, we are delighted to see our Single Pot Still Irish Whiskeys excelling in tasting awards; this is indicative of the outstanding quality and unique properties of this classic style of Irish whiskey, something which the trade and consumers are increasingly recognising. The next step is to help more consumers discover this classic Irish style, so we’re really focusing on education with new initiatives, such as with our new Irish Whiskey Academy.”
“It is a real honour to see our peers recognise the quality found in our comprehensive range of whiskeys; this success is testament to the skill and craft of the passionate people found at Irish Distillers and awards such as these are always held in high regard by our talented distilling team at Midleton.”
The evening’s guest speaker, Willie McCarter, Chairman of the Irish Spirits Association said: “With four of the largest spirits companies in the world now selling Irish whiskey and many new distilleries coming on stream, the Irish whiskey industry is at the beginning of a new golden age.”
“If all companies involved in Irish whiskey strive to maintain the excellent quality standards achieved so far, the current annual Irish whiskey sales of six million cases could near the Scottish volume of 90 million cases within the next 20 – 30 years. Not many industries in Ireland can look forward to such a future. Let us keep our fingers crossed!”
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